Legal Education In America – From Baccalaureate To Professional Degrees

by GuestPoster on February 23, 2012

Legal education refers to the acquisition of knowledge on law. It is a must for people who want to be legal professionals and lawyers although some acquire it for use in related fields like politics. Individuals who want to become lawyers also need legal education and is taught throughout their law school years. In America, it is covered by baccalaureate degrees up until the doctorates.

Baccalaureate degrees are undergraduate programs for people who want to be knowledgeable in law and legal matters. It usually lasts 4 years in the United States but could reach 5 depending on the degree one is aiming for. The Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies (B.S.) is the most popular baccalaureate degree in legal education throughout the United States but there are plenty others to choose from.

Getting a bachelor’s degree on any legal education course is not a pre-requisite for law distance learning school or people who want to become lawyers. They are treated as non-lawyer academic degrees. Studying legal education on a baccalaureate level is an advantage though if you are thinking of getting into law school.

Master’s degrees on legal education are also offered in the United States. They are post graduate programs which can only be taken after graduating from a bachelor’s degree. Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.) and Master of Studies (M.S.) are two master’s degrees providing legal education. Getting one usually takes 2 years in addition to the 4 you invested in a bachelor’s degree.

Like the available bachelor’s degrees in legal education, these master’s degrees are not needed to enter law school. Even so, it is a great preparatory course for the School of Law along with the aforementioned baccalaureate degrees.

After getting a bachelor’s degree in any course of your choice, you can immediately proceed to law school to acquire a professional degree as a Doctor of Jurisprudence. It usually takes 3 years to complete. This is the only form of legal education required from people who want to practice as attorneys at law. Two professional degrees covering legal education include Doctor of Juridical Science and Doctor of Comparative Law. Respectively, they are research and academic professional degrees. Legum Doctor, another professional degree for legal education, is only awarded at an honorary level.

Professional degrees are required legal education for those who want to take the bar exams and practice law. Surprisingly, not all American states have the same requirement. In states like Wisconsin and Vermont, professional degree-holders can apply for a diploma privilege to be allowed into the bar.

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